Herbs

PASSION FLOWER, Passiflora incarnate

When some folks hear the word passion flower, their minds conjure up all kinds of different pictures and ideas. For example, one day a lady saw a beautiful flower. She asked about the name and found out it was called passion flower. Suddenly, her mind started thinking romantic and passionate thoughts. Undoubtedly, her husband hadn’t been paying her enough attention. She wanted to get this flower and get a little passion into his system.


She went to the health food store and bought passion flower herb. That night, she brewed some passion flower tea for him. He tasted it and said he didn’t like it. She told him, it was good for him, so drink it up. He took some passion flower herb and added some peppermint and chamomile. It tasted quite good. That night, she made a big comfortable chair, watching T.V. She got on her prettiest negligee and served him his passion flower tea. He sipped it. When she went to get him his third cup, he was asleep. This lady hadn’t learned the functions of passion flower. In her mind, she thought that passion flower was an aphrodisiac to stimulate one’s passions, but it is really a calmative to calm and settle the nerves. When she added the chamomile and peppermint, it really calmed him down. The name passion flower came from the love or passion the Lord Jesus Christ felt for us. The dictionary said it was the suffering of Jesus, beginning with his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and continuing to his death on the cross. I know that doesn’t sound like passion, but that’s what the dictionary says it is.


The passion flower is native to South America. When Spanish conquistadors conquered the Indians of South America and forced them to become Christians, they killed many natives. Jesuit Priests and others looked for a justification for their actions. They found it in a flower they said symbolized the crucifixion. Some said they saw a cross in the blossom of this very beautiful flower. The finely cut corona in the center of the blossom resembled the halo or crown of thorns. It had three styles that looked like the nails that were driven into His hands and feet. The ovary looked like a hammer; the five sepals and five petals stood for the ten true apostles, not counting Judas, who betrayed the Savior and Peter who denied Him, the five stamens represented His five wounds; the curling tendrils represented the whip that scourged Him. To justify their symbolism and reasoning, they called the plant the passion flower for the passion of Christ.


The passion flower is a vine that grows wild in the tropics. It will climb to the top of almost any tree. It can be cultivated in semitropical areas. It grows wild in this country from Virginia to Florida, over to Texas and up to Missouri. It is sometimes called the Virginia climber. The passion flower is an exotic plant or vine. It has five sepals that are pink or purple and a five-petal blossom that is white to pale lavender. The palmate leaf is dull green, alternate and divided into three lobes that taper to sharp points. The two-inch long egg-shaped fruit is yellow-to-orange and is succulent and sweet. It has many seeds and is called “granadilla” or “May pops”.


Passion flower is a sedative. It will help a person who has a nervous condition, is restless, has insomnia or a nervous headache. It will also help someone who is prone to hysteria, and anxiety, or is emotionally upset or is just uptight. It has been used as an antispasmodic, for epilepsy, for neuralgia and for spasmodic convulsions. The Gulf Coast Indians used crushed leaves for poultices on cuts and bruises. Taken hot, it is a diaphoretic to make you sweat. Passion flower will calm you, but it won’t make you passionate.
 

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